HomeNewsOodua Nation: 34 Groups Blame Ibadan Attack On Leadership Failure, Want Fair...

Oodua Nation: 34 Groups Blame Ibadan Attack On Leadership Failure, Want Fair Trial For Culprits 

…Condemn Demolition Of Onitiri-Abiola’s House

Nigeria’s endemic corruption, leadership failure and declining faith in the country in the face of growing misery are responsible for the recent invasion of Ibadan by a Yoruba group, a 34-member coalition of Pan-Yoruba groups has said in a joint statement on Monday.

While condemning the methods employed by some Yoruba activists led by Mrs Dupe Onitiri-Abiola, the groups said there was nothing wrong with the demands of the group for Yoruba self-determination.

It called for fair trial of those arrested, saying their desperate action was informed by the desperate and brutish state of survival under which Yoruba people have been compelled to live.

The Coalitio condemned the demolition of the house of Mrs Onitiri Abiola by the Governor of Oyo State Mr Seyi Makinde, adding that the action was hasty, despotic and injurious to fair-hearing and International law.

The 34 groups in their joint statement condemned what they called ‘opportunistic and self-serving defence of the Nigerian state’ by some fringe groups over the Ibadan attacks.

The coalition said there are some 130 major self-determination groups in Yorubaland adding that it was contended that 99 percent of them have not condemned the Ibadan incidence except they disagreed on the method.

“The mission of the Ibadan actors was to demand for Oodua Republic. It is a legitimate and popular demand by poor and suffering Yoruba people who constitute 90 percent of the population. Those opposed to Oodua Republic are people benefiting from the rot in Nigeria and are less than five percent.”

They said the Ibadan incidence, compared with what is going on in the North West, North East and South East, is a minor incidence.

“In the North East, North West and South East, agitators are armed with armoured vehicles, AK 47 and rocket propelled grenades. In the NE and NW the government even met with them and integrated some of them into the Nigerian Army. The youths of Yorubaland should be engaged to ensure the region does not slide into violence as seen in other parts of the country. The poverty and hopleessness in the land is real.What we need now is engagement, dialogue and not bullying, threat and intimidation.”

The Coalition said what happened Ibadan may be a signal of greater dangers ahead.

The groups that signed the statement were O’odua Peoples Congress, (OPC-Reformed), O’odua Peoples Congress, OPC-New ERA), Apapo Oodua Koya, (AOKOYA), O’odua Liberation Movement, (OLM), Yoruba Revolutionary Movement, (YOREM), O’odua Youth Movement, (OYM), Covenant Group, (CG), Oodua Retired Officers Union, (OROU), South West Women Congress, (SWWC), O’odua Nationalist Coalition, (ONAC), Progressive Alliance in South West, (PASW), Yoruba Liberation Command, (YOLICOM), South West Intelligence Alliance, (SWIA) and Oodua Hunters Union, (OHUN), Itsekiri Agenda for Freedom, (IAF), West Africa Yoruba Coalition Against Terrorism, (WAOCAT based in Ivory Coast), Oodua International Democratic Movement, (OIDEM), among others.

The 34 groups said the Ibadan incidence has shown clearly that the demand for self-determination in Yorubaland is real and that it is a force and social movement that has come to stay and nothing can be done to stop the agitation unless the government opens up the window of engagement.

The groups berated the Yoruba political men for rushing to condemn the Ibadan saga while they kept quiet in the past 12 years that Fulani armed men and Boko Haram have killed 29,000 farmers including women and children in Yorubaland.

“It’s a shame on all of you so-called political leaders. Yelwa was invaded by Fulani armed men. Owo was bombed. Thousands of Yoruba killed. Three prominent Yoruba Obas were killed. None of you visited their families but you have the courage to demolish the house of Mrs Onitiri Abiola, arrest and kill Yoruba youths that staged a drama at Ibadan secretariat.”

The groups said methods may differ, but the overwhelming demand for Yoruba nation is a reality that arms, mortals, armoured tanks, bombs, threats and bullying cannot stop, the groups in the joint statement signed by Rasaq Arogundade, Toafik Adeyemi and Samuel Ogunkola said.

The groups said Yoruba and Itsekiri have suffered decades of repression in an institutional way, adding that having a Yoruba man as the President does not automatically resolve the historic justice.

“We have seen increase in fuel price, hike in electricity tariff, loss of jobs while political leaders in the South West are hoarding palliatives and increasing the suffering of the people. It is an illusion to think Yoruba people with all the horrendous and lack of consultation will support the Federal Government just because the President is Tinubu. That is shallow and naive. The Yoruba are known to be critical of themselves except for psychopaths.

The groups said the President has never discussed or shared his vision with millions of Yoruba people except within the narrow prism of his political party which members in Yorubaland are less than 5 percent of the entire population.

It said that the first thing ousted President Goodluck Jonathan did when he came to power was to meet with self determination groups including those from Yorubaland in a display of wisdom and commonsense and that former President Mohammadu Buhari did exactly the same thing by meeting with armed rebels in the North through emissaries.

The groups said that for eight years former President Mohammadu Buhari’s government led to the killings, rape, murder and extermination of many Yoruba people and that the damage done in the eight years was enough for Yoruba to demand for self determination as guaranteed by International law.

“Even though a Yoruba person is the President, there is no forum of engagement with him. His aides are deaf and dumb to the social movements in Yorubaland while underneath, teeming population of Yoruba people have not seen any fundamental changes, not even promises apart from the fact that some detached people have been appointed to increase their personal fortunes.

“The President has the option to understand and appreciate the grievances of Yoruba non party men and women who are in the majority or he is carried away by the lucre and comfort of office listening only to Yes men and Women who are totally isolated and detached from the burning issues in their constituencies.

The groups said: “If President Tinubu’s aides are genuinely representing their people in the SouthWest, they would have had information before the Ibadan invasion and would have even stopped it. Unfortunately, there is a thick layer of profiteers and racketeers around the President who live under the illusion that the eight years maximum rule of President Tinubu is the beginning and end of Yoruba future.They live by today. We live by the future of the long suffering Yoruba people.”

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